Anger and Forgiveness

Anger and Forgiveness

Resentment, Generosity, Justice

Book - 2016
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Anger is not just ubiquitous, it is also popular. Many people think it is impossible to care sufficiently for justice without anger at injustice. Many believe that it is impossible for individuals to vindicate their own self-respect or to move beyond an injury without anger. To not feel anger in those cases would be considered suspect. Is this how we should think about anger, or is anger above all a disease, deforming both the personal and the political? Martha C. Nussbaum argues that anger is conceptually confused and normatively pernicious. It assumes that the suffering of the wrongdoer restores the thing that was damaged, and it betrays an all-too-lively interest in relative status and humiliation. Studying anger in intimate relationships, casual daily interactions, the workplace, the criminal justice system, and movements for social transformation, Nussbaum shows that anger's core ideas are both infantile and harmful. Is forgiveness the best way of transcending anger? Nussbaum examines different conceptions of this much-sentimentalized notion, both in the Jewish and Christian traditions and in secular morality. Some forms of forgiveness are ethically promising, she claims, but others are subtle allies of retribution: those that exact a performance of contrition and abasement as a condition of waiving angry feelings. In general, she argues, a spirit of generosity (combined, in some cases, with a reliance on impartial welfare-oriented legal institutions) is the best way to respond to injury.
Publisher: New York, NY :, Oxford University Press,, [2016]
ISBN: 9780199335879
Characteristics: xii, 315 pages ; 25 cm


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ser_library Aug 05, 2017

many examples add to our understanding and give hope for the future; an important book

NFreaderNWPL Apr 06, 2017

A penetrating analysis of of anger in our society, from the personal to the political level. While at first it might seem like she is recommending an impossible, condescending type of stoicism, her nuanced view is much more interesting, leaving room for what she calls "Transition anger": outrage at injustice that is directed at doing something pragmatic about it. Nussbaum also has fascinating things to say about notions of confession and forgiveness that are so common that they often go unnoticed, but, she argues, are highly problematic.

Dec 28, 2016

too difficult to read - font problem - too small for enjoyable reading. Surprised - as I haven't run into this problem except for older books.

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